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Leerburg Articles Area Search Test

Area Search Test

North American Police Work Dog Association

Area Search Test

This test is designed to test the police work dogs ability and proficiency in search for a hidden suspect within a large area when no known track is available. The team being tested should use the wind and air currents to their best advantage.


The Master Trainer will accompany the team during the entire test. The Master Trainer will make every effort not to distract or interfere with the dog while he/she is working. The Master Trainer will designate the general area to be search.


Handlers may select the starting point outside the search area that he/she wishes. This test may be done off leash. The leash may not be any shorter than six (6) feet nor longer than thirty (30) feet. Standard leashes, collars, correction collars or harnesses may be used. The handler will indicate to the Master Trainer the area in which the suspect is hidden within ten (10) feet of the suspect and call for the suspect to show themselves. Revised 06-19-88


The suspect will hide in the area at least ten (10) minutes prior to the beginning of the test. The suspect should be an unknown person not normally used in training with the dog. the suspect will hide themselves from view of the team using available concealment.


The area size the search takes place in and the time allowed for the search will be at the discretion of the Master Trainer. Revised 06-19-88

All tests given the K9 team will be on a pass/fail basis. The Master Trainer will determine if the team will be certified upon the completion of the test. The handler and dog will be considered as a team and it is the team who will be certified. If the dog changes handlers, a new team exists and the team will need to be certified.

This certification will be valid for two (2) years from the date of issue as defined in Certification Validity paragraph. A schedule of fees may be imposed on the team to pay for expenses for holding this test.

This section reviewed 6-22-97

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